Pizza Gusto has been a family owned business for over 10 years now; Elliott, the current owner, took over the reins back in 2017 and has loved every minute since.
“What drew me to the business was the traditional methods of cooking used, the oven itself is the heart of the business and this style of cooking hasn't changed in hundreds of years.”
The oven was installed at the red hill shops, at the original Pizza Gusto, and was moved to Braddon around 7 years ago. They’re made in Italy and it has probably cooked around 500,000 pizzas so far. They’re built to last!
Ever wondered how a pizza oven works? Elliott talks us through a typical day in Pizza Gusto:
“When I get into the shop, the coals from the night before are spread across the oven floor and dry wood stacked inside, like a giant version of jenga. I usually let it sit inside drawing the residual heat into the wood. After about 30 minutes or so it's good to light and takes about 2 hours to get up to a nice cooking temp.
“It took me a while to get a feel for how the oven reacts. They come with a temperature gauge usually but this broke some years back and this has resulted in the person cooking having to have a greater awareness of how the oven is behaving. On a busy Friday night we hit the capacity of the oven, having to cook 8 to 9 pizzas at once. The person cooking has to be very quick and able to manage lots of movements inside the oven with the pizza-turning tools. On some Fridays it’s not uncommon for us to cook 300 pizzas in a 4 hour shift.”
If you’re not sure what to order next time, you might like to try Elliott’s favourite pizza from the menu.
“It would have to be Bosciolo paired with a stout beer. It’s great having the bottle shop next door to be able to mix and try different beers and wines with the pizzas. I'm really enjoying the Local Clonakilla wines at the moment with my pizza.”
In addition to running Pizza Gusto, Elliott’s also a pretty handy blacksmith.
“That all started a few years back and I have been ever Increasing my skill set. The biggest attraction to blacksmithing for me is figuring out how things were made back in the day and trying to recreate them. I helped build and operate a traditional forge at Dirty Janes Antique emporium in Fyshwick. We make things there as traditionally as we can and run classes when possible. It's really rewarding being able to teach people some amazing old skills and knowledge and seeing them walk away with something they made with their own hands that they are proud of.”